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The service for Renzie Lamb is held in Thompson Memorial Chapel on Friday.

Renaissance Man Renzie Lamb Laid to Rest in Williamstown

By Stephen Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Iconic Williams College coach Renzie Lamb was remembered Friday as a man who met everyone on their own terms.
Lamb, 81, who died Nov. 17, was buried in Williams' cemetery after a Liturgy of Christian Burial at the college's Thompson Memorial Chapel.
Celebrant the Rev. Michael C. Lillpopp, paster of Sts. Patrick & Raphael Parish, told the standing-room crowd of mourners that Lamb was a Renaissance man, as adept at discussing history and art as he was coaching young men and women, as he did for 35 years.
"At most colleges, the coaches and professors don't normally associate with one another," Lillpopp said. "But Renzie was someone who could transcend these boundaries.
"At one particular college function, he heard a group of classics professors discussing the Roman Empire. Curious, Renzie went over and sat in on the discussion, speaking fluently from his knowledge of Caesar and ancient history.
"He engaged those classics professors on their own turf."
Lamb, who lent his name along with longtime colleague Dick Farley to the recently completed turf field at Williams' Weston Field complex, impacted lives at the college for five decades, well past his retirement in 2003.
Hundreds of his former students, his contemporaries, elected officials and community leaders were on hand Friday to honor Lamb and support his wife, Teresa M. Harron-Lamb, and family.
Lillpopp reminded all of Lamb's humor, indomitable spirit and larger and than life presence on the campus.
He also shared a more personal remembrance of another time when the "educator at heart" demonstrated the breadth and depth of his knowledge.
"On a memorable trip to a museum with his granddaughter, the two of them walked through the museum together, gallery to gallery, a grandfather sharing his love of history and art with his granddaughter," Lillpopp said. "Soon, they acquired a train of followers, ordinary bystanders, who thought Renzie was the museum's docent."
Of course, most will remember Lamb the coach and mentor, the man who taught life lessons on the playing fields, along the way earning the distinction of being the first Division III coach inducted in the Intercollegiate Men's Lacross Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
As an assistant football coach, Lamb helped lead the Ephs to five perfect seasons.
And his tenure on the gridiron gave Lillpopp the perfect anecdote to show Lamb's skill as a motivator.
"In 1969, the opponent was Yale, and as Renzie watched the legendary football team get off their bus with their nice, crisp white uniforms, the players looking larger than life, he thought, 'We're going to get creamed,' " Lillpott said, drawing a chuckle from the mourners. "So he gathered his team and said, 'The nice thing about Yale, gentlemen, is that you guys were all rejected by Yale.'
"Williams beat Yale, 28-14."
An evening of tributes to Lamb is planned at The Log on Spring Street at 5 p.m. on Friday, with alumnus Jack McGonagle scheduled to serve as master of ceremonies and an open microphone that will allow all comers to share their own stories about Lamb.

Tags: remembrance,   Williams College,   

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Mezze Restaurant Group Names Two New Co-Owners

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mezze Restaurant Group added two new individuals to its ownership structure on July 6. 

In recognition of their many years of service and their importance to the future of the business, co-owners Nancy Thomas and Bo Peabody have announced Linda Stripp and Nicholas Moulton will become new co-owners of Mezze Restaurant Group.

"I am incredibly excited to welcome Nick and Linda as co-owners of Mezze Restaurant Group. Their contributions to date and their roles in our continued expansion are critical," Peabody said. "Linda's leadership of our events business – our fastest-growing category – has been extraordinary, while Nick's recent rise as a celebrity chef – the Veggie King on Food Network – has been nothing short of meteoric. But, more than any of that was watching them operate in the last few months during one of the hardest times in our company and industry's history. Their maturity and dedication during this pandemic proved to me that they already think like owners."

Stripp has been working for the organization for 20 years. She started with the team in 2000 and, as director of Mezze Catering + Events, she is charged with shaping the overall direction of catering operations. Stripp is primarily focused on planning and managing special events including weddings, rehearsal dinners, cocktail parties, corporate functions and galas. Her lead role is in client relations, working hand in hand with catering clients at every stage of planning to deliver exceptional service.

Moulton has been executive chef of Mezze Restaurant Group since 2014, leading the kitchen and designing and executing the seasonal menu with his team. An alumnus of Mezze Bistro, where he worked for four years as sous chef, Moulton is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and an accomplished chef dedicated to highlighting local foods from the Berkshire region. Two-time champion on Guy’s Grocery Games, Food Network’s supermarket-themed cooking competition, he has earned the celebrated title “Veggie King” and competed on Food Network once again on July 8.

"Restaurants are built by teams, and Linda and Nick have made a long-term investment in our company. They are both builders of the brand and play an important role for the future," Thomas said. "We are so excited to have Linda and Nick become official co-owners in the business."

When Mezze opened its original 50-seat bistro in a cozy Water Street building in Williamstown in 1996, guests were loyal fans, many from the local dot-com crowd, and the collective youthful energy sparked recurring dance parties on the deck overlooking the Green River. During the initial years, Thomas partnered with Peabody and grew the business to include other restaurants and Mezze Catering + Events to produce high-end weddings and galas in the Berkshires and New York City. A fire in 2001 forced the restaurant to relocate and a newly renovated Mezze Bistro opened at the top of Water Street in May 2002, doubling the dining space. The popular bistro and bar with exposed brick walls provided a fresh platform for a modern-day dining experience with a farm-to-table focus. 

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